There’s no question that landing pages – and their associated lead capture forms – are two of the most important elements of lead generation. Without them, marketers would be much more limited in their ability to convert website visitors into leads – and generate conversions too.

This is because landing pages allow us to direct website visitors to more targeted pages that can capture leads at a much higher rate than other websites.

Landing pages also draw your visitors’ attention to a specific offer, limiting the distraction from anything else on your website. Visitors are on a landing page for one purpose only: get an offer by filling out a lead capture form.

However, converting visitors to leads, even with landing pages, is a lot easier said than done. In fact, there are some best practices every marketer should keep in mind when setting up and optimizing landing pages.

To keep you updated, here is your landing page tip list, taken from our latest e-book, The Top 30 Lead Generation Tips, Tricks, and Ideas.

13 tips for landing pages

  1. Include all the critical elements of an effective landing page.
  2. Remove the main navigation.
  3. Assign the heading of the landing page to the appropriate CTA.
  4. Remember: less is more.
  5. Emphasize the value of the offer.
  6. Promote sharing on social networks.
  7. Create more landing pages to generate more leads.
  8. Only ask for the information that you really need.
  9. Are you considering whether to submit or not?
  10. Reduce anxiety with evidence.
  11. Make the form appear shorter.
  12. Include rich media in your landing pages.
  13. Pay attention to the copy.

1. Include all the critical elements of an effective landing page.

Landing pages, sometimes called “lead capture pages,” are used to convert visitors into leads by completing a transaction or collecting contact information from them. In order to carry out these transactions, it is vital that your landing pages consist of the following components:

  • A heading and an (optional) sub-heading
  • A brief description of the offer that clearly highlights its value
  • At least one supporting picture
  • (Optional) supporting elements such as testimonials or security cards
  • And above all, a form for collecting visitor information

Landing page elements

2. Remove the main navigation.

Once a visitor arrives at a landing page, it’s your job to keep them there. So, if the page contains links that visitors can use to navigate your site, there is a risk of being distracted. This creates friction with lead generation and increases the chances of them leaving the page before they even convert. And let’s face it, no reputable marketer wants this. One of the best ways to reduce that friction and increase landing page conversion rates is to simply remove the main navigation from the page. As simple as that!

Landing page example without top navigation.

3. Adapt the heading of the landing page to the appropriate CTA.

Keep your messages consistent in both your call-to-action (CTA) and landing page headline. When people click on a CTA to get a free quote to find out that there is a tick on the landing page, they immediately lose confidence. If the headline is different from the CTA, it can cause confusion and the visitor may wonder if the CTA is linked to the wrong page. Eliminate any confusion and make sure your landing page consistently reflects what you promised in your call to action – and vice versa.

Landing page example with CTA.

4. Remember: less is more.

Many of you are probably familiar with the phrase “keep it simple, stupid”. Apply the same philosophy to your landing pages. A crowded page usually results in a distracted, confused, and / or overwhelmed visitor. Talk about landing page friction! Instead, adopt spaces and keep the text and images on the page simple and to the point.

Complex versus a simple landing page.

5. Emphasize the value of the offer.

Highlight the benefits of the offer with a short paragraph or a few bullet points. The best landing page description is more than just a list that makes up the offer. It also clearly emphasizes the value of the offer and gives visitors a compelling incentive to download. For example, instead of saying “Contains specifications of product XYZ”, say, “Find out how XYZ can increase productivity by 50%.” In other words, emphasize how the offering addresses a specific problem, need, or interest that interests your target audience.

Landing page example with value.

6. Promote sharing on social networks.

Don’t forget to include social media sharing buttons that your prospects can use to evangelize your content and offers. To avoid clutter, all you have to do is include buttons for the social platforms your audience is using. Don’t forget to add an email forwarding option as users have different sharing settings. Remember that even if your social media contacts never buy from you, there is always a possibility that someone on their personal network will!

Social media sharing buttons on a landing page.

7. Create more landing pages to generate more leads.

According to HubSpots Marketing Benchmarks Report Businesses see a 55% increase in leads when they increase the number of landing pages from 10 to 15. Taking away is easy: the more content, offers, and landing pages you create, the more opportunities you have to generate leads for your business. More landing pages usually also mean more targeted content that better engages your different buyer personalities, which can help increase your conversion rates. To increase the number of landing pages on your website, invest in an easy-to-use landing page creation tool, create more offers, tweak the offers you already need for individual people, and re-use existing content. In fact, in this blog post, we’re going to cover all of the above as to why you (yes, you) need to create more landing pages.

Example of landing page types.

8. Only ask for the information that you really need.

You may be wondering how much or how little information you should need in your forms. There is no magic answer to this, but the best balance is to gather only the information you really need to qualify leads. In general, the fewer fields there are on a form, the higher the conversion rate. This is because every new field you add to a form creates more work for the visitor and therefore fewer conversions. A longer shape looks like more work and is often avoided altogether. On the flip side, the more fields you need, the better the quality of these leads, as they think your offer is worth enough to warrant filling out a form. The best way to determine which form length is best for your business is to test it yourself.

Form fields on a landing page.

9. Consider whether to “send or not send?”

That’s the question most of your visitors are likely to be asking themselves. Because of this, a simple, yet effective way to increase form conversion rates is to avoid using the standard word “submit” on your form button. When you think about it, nobody wants to “submit” to anything. Instead, turn the statement into a benefit related to which potential customers are getting something in return. For example, if the form is to download a brochure kit, the “Submit” button should say “Get your brochure kit”. Other examples are “Download White Paper”, “Get Your Free E-Book” or “Subscribe to Our Newsletter”. Here’s another helpful tip: make the button big, bold, and colorful, and make sure it looks like a button that is usually beveled and appears to be “clickable”.

CTA example.

10. Reduce fear with evidence.

People are now more resilient than ever to revealing their personal information. It’s understandable given how much spam is out there. Fortunately, there are a few different features you can add to your landing pages to reduce visitor anxiety when filling out forms:

  • Include a privacy notice (or a link to your privacy policy) stating that visitors’ email addresses will not be shared or sold.
  • If your form requires sensitive information, add security seals, a BBB rating, or certifications so visitors know their information is safe.
  • Add testimonials or customer logos. It’s a great way to use social evidence. For example, if your offering is a free trial of your product or service, you may want to add some customer testimonials about that particular product or service.

Example of trust seals on a landing page.

11. Make the form appear shorter.

Sometimes people don’t fill out a form just because it looks long and time consuming. If your form requires many fields, try adjusting the style to make the form shorter. For example, reduce the space between fields or align the titles to the left of each field instead of above so that the form appears shorter. When the form takes up less space on the page, it seems like you’re asking for less. If possible, implement smart fields – dynamic form fields that automatically adjust to a shortened version if a visitor has already been entered into your marketing database.

Short form on a landing page.

In this day and age, one way to make your landing pages stand out is to include rich media.

For example, you can use moving GIFs, videos, and interactive images. While design isn’t necessarily the most important component of a landing page, it is important that your design makes your landing pages stand out.

The aim is to trick the user into feeling compelled to download your content offering. Design can help with that.

The most important component of your landing pages is a copy that inspires users to download your offer. How you do that?

Well the best way is to make a copy that is centered on your person. This means your target market should feel like they could have written the copy themselves. If your audience feels that you understand their problems, they are more likely to download your offer.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2012 and has been updated for completeness.